The Lincoln Lawyer (Mickey Haller #1)

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The Lincoln Lawyer (Mickey Haller #1) by Michael Connelly

“In the first-ever legal thriller by crime novelist Michael Connelly, author of the bestselling Harry Bosch saga (The Closers, The Narrows, Lost Light, et al.), ethically ambiguous defense attorney Mickey Haller’s search for innocence in a high-profile case involving a young Beverly Hills playboy leads him to the ultimate evil…

A veteran defense attorney, Haller is understandably cynical about the system. (“The law was a large, rusting machine that sucked up people and lives and money. I was just a mechanic. I had become an expert at going into the machine and fixing things and extracting what I needed from it in return.”) When a “franchise” case falls into his lap, one that could give him his biggest payoff ever, Haller jumps at the chance to defend a rich realtor accused of brutally beating and attempting to rape a wannabe actress with a shady background. The baby-faced realtor is vehement about his innocence, and as Haller begins to build his case, he’s confident of victory — that is, until he inadvertently discovers something that will not only overturn an old murder case but also put him and his crew in mortal peril.

Fans of Connelly’s previous Harry Bosch novels will find The Lincoln Lawyer even more compelling — since Haller happens to be Bosch’s half brother and, according to sources, there is a sequel in the works that includes the maverick former LAPD detective! Like its luxury-auto namesake, The Lincoln Lawyer is a sumptuous thriller that excels in every measurable category: plot complexity, character development, pacing, intensity, etc. It is, quite possibly, Connelly’s best yet.”

It took me several chapters to get into this book. I knew it was going to be good once it got going but it took a while to actually get going. But once it did, I was right, it was good! It became un-put-down-able and is one of the best legal thrillers I’ve read in a long time. I wasn’t sure at first who was the good guy and who was the bad guy. I’m not sure the characters knew either. It’s a good book if you give it a chance. When you hit chapter 3 and want to quit just keep plugging on, it’ll get better soon. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.

Mass Market Paperback
544 pages
Published January 25th 2011 by Grand Central Publishing (first published 2005)
ISBN13: 9781455500239
Macavity Award for Best Mystery Novel (2006), Shamus Award (2006)

4 stars

Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse/A Southern Vampire Mystery #1) – Audiobook


Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse/A Southern Vampire Mystery #1) by Charlaine Harris

“Sookie Stackhouse is just a small-time cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana. Until the vampire of her dreams walks into her life-and one of her coworkers checks out….

Maybe having a vampire for a boyfriend isn’t such a bright idea.”

I originally started reading this series several years ago because the wait for Anita Blake books was so long. A friend (Super Suz!)and I were at a bookstore and the clerk suggested it to us. She said we’d probably love it and she was right. This is the book and series that the HBO show True Blood is based on. I haven’t watched the show personally. Once I saw who was cast as Sookie I just couldn’t do it. Nothing against Anna Paquin, but she’s Rogue, not Sookie. Anyway, it’s a great series, and it’s another series that has gotten to have so many books in it that I’m listening to it on audiobook while traveling.

Published 2007 by Recorded Books, LLC (first published May 1st 2001)
ISBN13: 9781428160859
Anthony Award for Best Paperback Original (2002)

4 stars

Circus of the Damned (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #3) – Audiobook

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Circus of the Damned (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #3) by Laurell K Hamilton

“In Circus of the Damned, a rogue master vampire hits town, and Anita gets caught in the middle of an undead turf war.”

The third book in the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series by Laurell K Hamilton, read by Kimberly Alexis. This book introduces one of my least favorite characters. *sigh But it’s still an excellent story!

Audio CD
Published October 6th 2009 by Penguin Audio USA (first published 1995)
ISBN13: 9780143145141

4 stars

Secret Lives of Great Artists

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Secret Lives of Great Artists by Elizabeth Lunday

“In the tradition of our best-selling Secret Lives of the U.S. Presidents (120 000 copies in print) here are outrageous and uncensored profiles of the world’s greatest artists complete with hundreds of little-known politically incorrect and downright bizarre facts. Consider:

* Michelangelo had such repellant body odor that his assistants couldn’t stand working for him.
* Pablo Picasso did jail time for ripping off several statues from the Louvre.
* Gabriel Dante Rossetti’s favorite pet was a wombat that slept on his dining room table.
* Vincent van Gogh sometimes ate paint directly from the tube.
* Georgia O’Keeffe liked to paint in the nude.
* Salvador DalÌ concocted a perfume from dung to attract the attention of his future wife.

With outrageous anecdotes about everyone from Leonardo (accused sodomist) to Caravaggio (convicted murderer) to Edward Hopper (alleged wife beater) Secret Lives of Great Artists is an art history lesson you’ll never forget!”

I read Secret Lives of Great Authors a few years ago and loved it. Secret Lives of Great Artists did not disappoint. Reading it made me get online and look up all of the paintings and sculptures that the author was telling me about. I like the trivial details and the fact that it increased my interest in the subject matter. It was also a very fast read because I found it so interesting.

288 pages
Published October 15th 2008 by Quirk Books
ISBN13: 9781594742576

4 stars

Emily’s Runaway Imagination

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Emily’s Runaway Imagination by Beverly Cleary

“Can imaginative Emily make her biggest dream come true?

Spunky Emily Bartlett lives in an old farmhouse in Pitchfork, Oregon, at a time when automobiles are brand-new inventions and libraries are a luxury few small towns can afford. Her runaway imagination leads her to bleach a horse, hold a very scary sleepover, and feed the hogs an unusual treat. But can she use her lively mind to help bring a library to Pitchfork?

Adventure is pretty scarce in Pitchfork, Oregon. So why shouldn’t Emily bleach Dad’s old plow horse or try some of her other ideas?”

I first read this book in the second grade. I’ve read it many, many, many times since then. I discovered years later, that a lot of the things that happen to Emily in this book were taken straight from Cleary’s own childhood. (Hint: read Cleary’s autobiography!) I love every book Beverly Cleary has written so it should come as no surprise when I say this is one of my favorite childhood books.

221 pages
Published May 1980 by Dell Publishing (first published 1961)
ISBN 0440422159

4 stars

Where the Wild Things Are – Audiobook

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Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

“Max is sent to bed without supper and imagines sailing away to the land of Wild Things,where he is made king.”

One of my favorite childhood books, I found iTunes offering the audiobook for free a few months ago. It took about two seconds to download and listening only takes about five minutes. But for those five minutes I went back to the world I imagined years and years ago.

Audio CD
Published June 1st 2007 by HarperChildrensAudio (first published 1963)
ISBN13: 9780061227400
Caldecott Medal (1964), American Library Association (ALA) Notable Book, Indies Choice Book Award for Picture Book Hall of Fame (2009)

4 stars

The Laughing Corpse (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #2) – Audiobook

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The Laughing Corpse (Anita Black, Vampire Hunter #2) by Laurell K Hamilton

“Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter for Animators, Inc., is offered a cool mil to raise a 283-year-old corpse. But she knows that “the older the zombie, the bigger the death needed to raise it”. Only a human sacrifice is “big” enough to raise this old soul–and Anita’s no murderer.”

The second installment in the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series by LKH. Just as good as the first. The series is so long now that I’ve taken to downloading them from and listening to them on my iPod when I travel for work.

Audio CD
Published October 1st 2009 by Penguin Audio (first published 1994)
ISBN13: 9780143144021

4 stars